Atlantis Alumni

Friday, August 28, 2009

Our Last Day In Rome

Galleria Borghese

Adrian, Jim, Harvey, and Dan at the Piazza Popolo in Rome

The main highlight of the last full day in Rome was our visit to the Galleria Borghese, set in a large and lovely park generally called the ‘Villa Borghese.’ Cardinal Scipione Borghese started this magnificent collection in the 17th century with some ancient Roman sculpture. He expanded it further with great Baroque masterpieces by Bernini and Caravaggio, and such Renaissance gems as Raphael’s “Deposition” and “The Lady with the Unicorn”, or Titian’s luxurious ‘Sacred and Profane Love.” Our shipmates Harvey and Adrian, and Wayne and Steve joined us for this tour. The last time we had been in Rome the museum was closed, so it was a thrill to again see the 6 Caravaggio paintings and the amazing statues of Bernini, including his “Daphne and Apollo.”

We walked through the park after the museum visit, and marveled over two large Caravaggio altarpieces in the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo. These works were “The Conversion of St. Paul” and the “Crucifixion of St. Peter.” With their amazing diagonal compositions and dramatic lighting, they clearly showed the best of the artist who created the unique Baroque style of painting.

We showed Harvey and Adrian the Pantheon and the church of St. Agnese by Borromini, and seeing them a second time one noticed new details of those great buildings. After a jolly lunch near the Piazza Navona, we toured the gigantic Palazzo Doria Pamphili with the fellows from New York, before taking a taxi back to the hotel. Tonight we’ll search for another restaurant near the Piazza Navona, for our last dinner in Rome. Tomorrow we take a transfer bus to the port at Civitavecchia to board the ship “The Solstice” for our cruise on the Mediterranean.


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